Symantec rates Microsoft Vista as Highly Secure OS

According to the SymantecSymantec’s 11th Internet Security Threat Report, Microsoft Vista has been ranked as the most secure operating system than its competitors. During its initial three months, Windows Vista offered huge security success as compared to other OS like Windows XP, Mac OS X and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Workstation etc, and hence, helping the different organizations to achieve their business and computing goals with confidence. The second best performer, during the initial 90 days, was Red Hat Linux which took an average of 58 days to address a total of 208 vulnerabilities. The security features strengthens the overall Windows infrastructure which make Vista more reliable & trustworthy, and also helps in keeping control of both system and data.

As per Symantec’s Report, Microsoft Vista is doing much better than others and had the least number of patches and the shortest average patch development time during the 2nd half of 2006. This report has a great significance because Symantec has been the long term enemy of Microsoft. In this report, it found 39 vulnerabilities in MS Windows and company took 21 days on an average to fix them, and importantly, 12 of these vulnerabilities were ranked high ‘priority’ or ‘severe’. Apple gave a worse performance during this time with 43 vulnerabilities in Mac OS X, with 66 days turnaround on fixes. This performance of Apple is shoddier as compared to last year.

Jeff Jones, the strategy director in Microsoft’s security technology unit, said,” Vista has an improved security vulnerability profile over its predecessor, and a significantly better profile relative to comparable modern competitive operating systems.” “As an early and tentative indicator, this is good news for Windows Vista security,” said Jones in a report. In his comparison report he pointed out that Windows XP located 14 bugs, Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) - 20, Red Hat - 137, Ubuntu - 71, and SuSE - 80 during their initial three months.

Windows Vista includes a number security features and improvements to protect computer systems from the latest generation of threats such as worms, viruses, and other malicious software. User Account Control feature allows users to change common settings while running as a standard user which prevents them from making potentially dangerous changes to their computers, without limiting their ability to run applications. Protected mode Internet Explorer helps to protect user data and configuration settings from being deleted or changed by malicious Websites or malware. And some of the other advanced security features include built-in Web browser, Windows Defender, outbound filtering in the firewall, Windows Servicing Hardening, and Network Access Protection etc.

Friedrichs, senior director of Symantec Corp.'s security response team, said, “Comparing Windows to any other operating system is always dicey because of the overwhelming market share Microsoft's products enjoy. That means flaws in Windows are much more likely to be exploited by attackers.” “high-severity vulnerability may not receive widespread exploitation on another OS,” Friedrichs said. But the Microsoft's Security Response Center said through a company spokeswoman today, “Microsoft is not aware of any attacks attempting to use the reported vulnerability or of customer impact at this time.”

With features like Windows Security Center, it makes a PC more secure by alerting users when their security software is out of date or when their security settings should be strengthened. The Security Center displays firewall settings and informs users whether the PC is ready to receive automatic software updates from Microsoft. It also monitors security products from multiple companies and displays which are enabled and up to date.

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